LAHORE: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to investigate former Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Ali Jehangir Siddiqui over charges of alleged corruption in Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme scam, ARY News reported on Friday.
According to sources, the anti-graft watchdog body, after completion of the inquiry against Ali Jehangir, has decided to transform it into an investigation.
“Soon an approval will be sought from the Chairman NAB in this regard,” well-informed sources said.
The former ambassador is facing charges of alleged corruption in Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing scam along with the former federal secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad.
NAB has availed evidence showing his business partnership with Fawad Hasan Fawad.
Sources further said that the accountability watchdog could issue arrest warrants of Mr Siddiqui over his noncooperation.
Ali Siddiqui has appeared before the NAB only twice despite being summoned several times.
Former Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, former Federal Secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad, former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General Ahad Cheema and others are already facing the charges of financial irregularities in Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme.
According to NAB, “the contract for the housing scheme was won by a construction company Chaudhry Latif & sons but former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his aides awarded the Rs 14bn contract to Lahore Casa Developers – a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, which is said to be owned by former Railways Minister Saad Rafique”.
As per law, it is illegal to make any agreement above Rs150mn with a single company.
“Fawad Hasan Fawad, who was the implementation secretary to the then Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif at the time, levelled charges of wrongdoings against Chaudhry Latif & sons so that the contract to be awarded to Casa Developers,” the anti-graft body claimed.
It was due to the hired company’s incompetence that the project could not be completed in a three-year duration which brought upon a loss of Rs640mn to the government, NAB officials added.